Nissan (Black) Friday: "Europe Is Going To Be Bad"

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
nissan black friday europe is going to be bad

If any carmaker is hoping for an imminent turn-around in Europe, or is telling shareholders (I am looking at you, GM) that better times will be here again real soon now, then Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn has a bucket of ice-cold water for them.

“Europe is going to be bad,” Ghosn predicted today in Yokohama. Ghosn also serves as CEO of Renault, a company that is taking major lumps in a market that has been careening south for five years in a row now. One would assume that a man in his position paints a rosier picture. Instead, Ghosn’s pallet is all gloom.

Ghosn knows what is on the mind of the European customer:

“The European consumer lacks confidence, is confused, he does not know when Europe will get out of this crisis, and until he sees and understands what’s going on in Europe, he is not going to come back buying cars.”

Ghosn does not “foresee any growth in Europe probably before the end of 2016, or even later.” He thinks the worst is yet to come:

“We are absolutely not forecasting any growth in Europe. And we are preparing to face Europe with a decrease in 2013, probably another decrease in 2014, and at best a stabilization of the market in 2015. We hope we are wrong. If we are, better for us.”

For the case that Ghosn’s predictions are wrong (they rarely are), his companies “have capacity in Europe and we are ready to respond to any pent-up demand, even if we don’t believe it is going to happen.”

Listening to Ghosn’s dire predictions, one begins to believe that European turn-around may not happen until the end of the decade. And it must be brought on by governments that are tired of austerity measures. Says Ghosn:

“I don’t think the European countries can afford to continue to see a decline in the economy for much longer. At a certain point in time, the focus will be put on growth.”

In a Europe that is not known for speedy decisions, this refocusing could take many years. Ghosn recalled how he demanded action on the obscenely high Japanese Yen 5 years ago, and now finally, there is action.

In the meantime, says Ghosn, “we are not banking on a recovery of the European market, because it may not happen.”

Join the conversation
3 of 17 comments
  • Carrya1911 Carrya1911 on May 13, 2013

    I believe someone studied the "austerity" measures in Europe and found that spending in most countries stayed the same or actually increased...but taxes had been increased significantly.

  • Junebug Junebug on May 13, 2013

    I've worked for 30 years (May 31st) for a electronics comapany, and weathered many storms, buy-outs, lay-offs, etc. It's taken time but I have a good job, benefits and 5 weeks of vacation. I remember years ago asking our plant manager in one of those round table discussions that were popular in the mid 80's, why did Europe workers get so much more time off and paid this and that......he just said that there's no free lunch and that wouldn't last forever. Well, didn't understand it then, but I do now. They are feeling it now and it's hard for them to change and especially when they expect the same cushy high paying jobs that their parents had. I was lucky enough to have parents that lived through the great depression of the '30's and they taught me to appreciate what I did have. I understand them a lot clearer now too. For ya'll young folks, you aren't entitled to shit ok, get over it. Life may well not be as good as it has been, but, there was a whole generation that lived through far worse, so suck it up and move on. We could all learn from countries like Greece and take steps NOT to join them.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird Back when the Corolla consisted of a wide range of body styles. This wagon, both four door and two door sedans, a shooting brake like three door hatch as well as a sports coupe hatchback. All of which were on the popular cars on the road where I resided.
  • Wjtinfwb Jeez... I've got 3 Ford's and have been a defender due to my overall good experiences but this is getting hard to defend. Thinking the product durability testing that used to take months to rack up 100k miles or more is being replaced with computer simulations that just aren't causing these real-world issues to pop up. More time at the proving ground please...
  • Wjtinfwb Looks like Mazda put more effort into sprucing up a moribund product than Chevy did with the soon to be euthanized '24 Camaro.
  • Wjtinfwb I've seen worse on the highways around Atlanta, usually with a refrigerator or washer wedged into the trunk and secured with recycled twine...
  • Wjtinfwb Surprising EB Flex hasn't weighed in yet on it being the subject of a recall...